Morgan City Archives
Under the aegis of the H.& B.Young Fund, the Morgan City Archives Commission was created in 1979. It was successor to the 1966 History Project under Director Mrs. Lela King Lehmann which gave birth to the idea of preserving local history for posterity. Mrs.Lehmann's associate in 1972, Mrs.Catherine Dilsaver, joined her in this endeavor. Untold numbers of volunteer hours, up until 1979, were devoted to the initial amassing and cataloging of materials that comprise the current collections housed in the archives today.
The Young Fund appropriated funds for the construction of a 700 square foot vault area, and a 345 square foot outer research room for patrons. After completion in 1979, the accumulated history items, clippings and photographs were transferred to the vault. Additional funds were provided, and matched by the St.Mary Parish Police Jury, to secure a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to finance instruction on the processing of the collection according to archival standards.
The Morgan City Archives acts as a permanent custodian and repository for all archival material owned by, and on loan to, the City of Morgan City Archives. It houses primary resource materials reflecting the social, political, spiritual, cultural, intellectual and occupational history of the City and its environs. Records are comprised of original local and parish newspapers from the 1850s to the 1990s; local parish, and Louisiana territorial maps; photographs; organizational and personal scrapbooks; city and parish governmental records on film; parish census rolls 1810-1920; family folders; cemetery records; and various history subjects as churches, schools, highways, railroads, bridges, lighthouses; the Atchafalaya Basin; Civil War research, waterways, memorabilia, and numerous other items. To date, the archives continue to receive financial support from the H & B Young Fund, the City of Morgan City, the J.Y. Sanders Trust Fund, and private donors who share an interest in preserving the past, and providing a central source of information about the area. The local newspaper, The Daily Review, wrote in an editorial recently: "Few appreciate the worth of an archives. All of us in the newsroom have a unique understanding of archives because Morgan City is fortunate to have one, a very good one."
Students, writers, historians, genealogists, and those interested in conducting research into local history are assisted by a competent staff and volunteers in the office. Appointments are preferred, and can be made by calling (504] 380-4621, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Morgan City Archives Commission
Cyrus Provost, chairman
Roland Stansbury, secretary
Mary Elizabeth Sanders
Morgan City Archives
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